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Nick London

Nick London

To Artists and actors and other hives 08/01/2016

Lady Gaga's Makeup For American Horror Story- Hotel.

It's not so often that television makeup looks like something that could be found on the cover of W magazine. While bleached brows, dramatic lip colors and wild slashes of eyeliner play well on the runway and in editorials, TV shows skew toward smoky eyes and natural tones — the sort of makeup that serves to enhance an already attractive actor's features, making for a slightly more appealing version of real life.

Thank god for "American Horror Story." With its current season, "American Horror Story: Hotel," the series delivers a powerful dose of high fashion to the small screen in the form of Lady Gaga's bloodsucking Countess.

"I wanted her to look like a bomb Daphne Guinness, a model that could be on the cover of Vogue Italia shot by Steven Meisel," says Sarah Tanno, Gaga's full-time makeup artist, who came on board for the show. "I think that's why [show creator] Ryan Murphy wanted me and Frederic [Aspiras, Gaga's hairstylist] on it. He wanted somebody who could really interpret fashion and elevate the show."

Drawing on references from a wide range of decades — the '20s, '30s, '70s, '80s — Tanno created a look that's both sophisticated and unnerving: highlighted skin, bleached eyebrows, eyeshadow winged toward the temple and thoroughly blended to hollow out the eyes, gloss on the lids and blood red lips. (Skip the mascara.) Tanno bounced between lipsticks but says she used shades from Besame Cosmetics, which she discovered through the show's other makeup artists.

Nick London